Thursday, May 27, 2021
Treetops and Rooftops
Out my kitchen window is a lovely eastern golden morning view of treetops and rooftops
that sometimes actually glisten.
and then, of course, as I knew when I made the decision to live there,
the inevitable relationship with the alley.
It’s an alley; people use it as a bypass or a hiding place.
This morning I saw a young man walking slowly up the alley,
dressed for a Sunday afternoon on a Monday morning.
I adjusted the blind so he wouldn’t see me looking
and plugged in the coffee pot.
Was he calm or lost in thought?
Out of a driveway a car crept up the center of the alley behind him, super slowly.
I turned to put the bread in the toaster and set the butter beside it.
I went back to the window. The car had stopped.
He had stepped in front of it like Superman. But I couldn’t read the mood—
he walked around to the driver’s open window
and leaned his hips full contact with the door to talk.
I got the milk for the coffee.
I looked again. Now a woman was out of the car, embracing him.
She was dressed for work.
Did I hear crying? Murmurs.
It all just sounded so watery, distant.
But then she sobbed pain and hurt or was it anger?
I looked down to butter the toast
and when I looked again she was back in the car,
and there was some kind of continuing exchange…
“Don’t drag it out,” I said to no one but me, “Just drive away.”
It really was none of my business so I ate my breakfast.
I don’t know what she did.
But when I brought my empty dishes to the sink,
there was no sign of either of them,
just the view of the treetops and the rooftops,
colors sharpening in the day’s advancing light,
and the alley of course.